The late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” is not one of his subtlest efforts, but then Vonnegut was not known for subtlety. The story is frequently cited by advocates of programs for gifted students as a parable depicting the dangers of equality run amok. This interpretation, too, is perhaps a bit unsubtle. In no more than three pages, exclusive of title page and reference page (which is not required), with normal margins, double spacing, 12 point Times New Roman type, please respond to the following:
To what extent does Vonnegut’s depiction of a society in which “everybody was finally equal” resonate with issues and trends within American education today?
More specifically, what are the implications of Harrison’s story for gifted education?
Which is worse, absolute equality imposed by handicapping everyone or profound societal inequalities that result in significant advantages for some, serious disadvantages for others?
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